Dave Hetzel will be missed. He was the first President of WWALS, a longtime board member and WWALS Ambassador (a Vice President), promoter of solar power, opponent of pipelines, a fixture at festivals for WWALS from Cedar Key, Florida to Alapaha, Georgia, loved to paddle on our rivers and to promote the Alapaha River Water Trail and the BIG Little River Paddle Race; friend to all.
Also, Dave was a good sport. On his very first paddle outing with WWALS, he got dunked completely underwater in the Alapaha River, but he popped right up and never complained.
Before the obituary, here are a few pictures.
WWALS Board Members 2013-08-14 https://wwals.net/?p=835 Back Row (L to R) Dave Hetzel (President), Garry Gentry (Membership), Bret Wagenhorst (Outings), John Quarterman (Senior Vice President); Front Row (L to R): Gretchen Quarterman (Treasurer), Heather Brasell (Secretary), April Huntley; Missing from photo: Al Browning, Karan Rawlins (Events).
David Lowell Hetzel
August 30, 1936 ~ April 3, 2022 (age 85)
David Lowell Hetzel passed away on Sunday, April 3, 2022. David was predeceased by his father, Lowell Hayward Hetzel and mother, Ray Miller Hetzel, his wife, Louise Stamps Hetzel and his sons, Douglas Allen Hetzel and Patrick Warren Hetzel. He is survived by his two brothers, Dr. Glenn Hetzel (Nancy) and Donald Hetzel (Sherry), three daughters, Kimberly Welty, Sharon Tuinder (Tim), Julie Thumbtzen (William), and two daughters-in-law, Harriet Hetzel (Doug), and Joann Hetzel-Clugsten. He was blessed with 13 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
Dave never met a stranger or neglected to have a story to tell. He was a distinguished Alumnus of Harpers Ferry High School. He completed the ROTC program while attending West Virginia University. He was a servant leader to his family, church, community and country. He was a Vietnam War Veteran. He served in the US Air Force for 26 years. He served as a security consultant for the 1984 Olympics. He served 14 years as a City Councilman in Tifton, Georgia. Other service areas included Red Cross, Easter Seals, The Salvation Army and Meals on Wheels. Never truly retiring, he was awarded Tift County Senior Citizen of the Year in 2015.
Dave could always be found working outside, whether driving the train at Agrirama, harvesting corn at his brother’s farm in West Virginia or paddling a canoe down the Alapaha River. Most people can say they have been the recipient of one of Dave’s quarts of apple butter and his salutation, “Drive safe!”
The Family will hold a private memorial service.
Lord and Stephens, West is in charge of arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of David Lowell Hetzel, please visit our floral store.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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